If you enjoy camping and the outdoors and are looking for a good campfire cooking kit, the search can lead you to hundreds of options. In this article, I will show you a list of great kits and options, what to consider when buying campfire cooking equipment, and a few additional tips to make the most of these outdoor cooking kits.
Preparation is essential to enjoy camping to the fullest, and having a good campfire cooking set can make cooking over an open fire much easier. This list is a culmination of my many years of campfire cooking experience, camping and cooking along the Florida coast, the tools that made my journey easier, and so on.
I have had my fair share of experience with Cooking Kits and Campfires
I live in Florida, and camping and outdoor cooking are synonymous with our state. Florida has some of the most beautiful state parks and beaches in the US. I have visited many of these state parks and done many camping trips. My favorite spot is Fort DeSoto camping camp, located on the west coast of Florida near Tampa and Sarasota.
I cannot begin to express how awesome it is to camp on the coastline near the beach and spend time with friends and family near a campfire.
Not every camping trip was perfect. It took me a few years, trips, mistakes, trial and error to learn how to make these trips perfect, and campfire cooking at the time was an issue. Doesn’t matter how much you prepare, without the right open fire cooking equipment, the experience can be rough.
The 5 Best Campfire Cooking Kits Reviewed
1. Stanley Base Camp Cook Set for 4 with 21 pieces-Adventure Series – Best Overall
Why our top pick?
Because it is well built, and it is one of the most complete kits on the market and reasonably priced.
Capacity: 4 people
Number of pieces: 21
- 3.5 liter cooking pot with a vented lid
- A frying pan
- 4 – 22 oz. bowls
- A cutting board
- A Spatula
- Four 6-inch plates
- A serving spoon
- Bowls dish rack
- A sponge securing cord to stack the kit.
This Stanley Camp Cook Set for 4 contains nearly everything you need for your camping experience. On many of my camping trips, two things I always forget are included in this kit: a serving spoon and sporks. This kit is designed with usefulness in mind. For example, instead of packing both forks and spoons, you get sporks!
I also like that this kit is designed to be stacked and stored neatly and securely using the bungee cord. This cooking kit comes complete with plates, bowls, and even a dish rack to keep the dishes dry after a quick wash.
- Super useful—the strong instructions are engraved on the pot’s lid, so you don’t have to remember how to put 21 pieces in a 3.5-liter pot.
- All the parts and pieces fit inside the pot. It’s very easy to store and carry.
- I like that the utensils have hook holes to hang them.
- The cutting board is small enough to use on a rock or block.
- The sporks might be too big for little ones.
- During one of my trips, I lost the spatula handle. Both the serving spoon and the spatula have handles that can be taken off (by clicking on them) so they are easy to store. I contacted Stanley and they sent me a new one, but the moral of the story is to keep an eye on those handles.
2. GSI Outdoors-Pinnacle Base Camping Cook Set – Runner Up
GSI Outdoors has been making campfire cooking equipment since 1985. They know how to make good and reliable campfire cooking tools and cooking gear. The GSI camping cook set does not include sporks and spoons as the Stanley does, but this brand makes these kits sort of modular. That is, you can begin with the basic camping cookware and gradually add more accessories.
This set is more for those who like to make soups and stews, and I prefer their pots over other brands because of the handles. It is easy to grab the foldable handle, grab a pot, and dump hot water through the lid’s holes.
Capacity: 2 to 4 people
Number of pieces: 8
- One five-liter pot
- A 3-liter pot
- A nine-inch frying pan
- Two lids
- A cutting board
- A folding pot handle
- A carrying bag.
- Modular. You can get more pots and accessories and use the same handles.
- The carrying bag doubles as a sink for washing dishes.
- It is a smaller set without utensils, but you can get those separately.
3. MEETSUN Camping Kit – Good Choice
The MEETSUN Camping cooking kit is a large kit and our budget pick. It comes complete with 37 pieces, including large pans, camping kettles, knives, forks, and spoons, and all fit in a carry-on bag. This campfire cooking kit is good for up to six people, and it’s great for larger gatherings and cooking for bigger groups.
This kit is not necessarily the most durable or strongest, but if you are on a budget and want lots of pieces, this budget set can be a good option.
Capacity: 6 people
Number of pieces: 37
- One 4 liter hanging pot
- One 3 liter cooking pot
- One 1.4 liter saucepan
- One 1.5 liter camping kettle
- Six cups
- Six plates
- 6 folding stainless steel cutlery sets(spoons, knives, forks)
- One cleaning brush
- One spatula
- One durable carry bag
- Lots of pieces
- The camping kettle comes in handy for making coffee.
- Not built like our top two.
4. KingCamp Camping Kit Camping Set – Great for cooking Complete meals
The KingCamp kit is available in 17- and 25-piece bundles. This kit works great with a campfire, tripod, stove, or even a bonfire. This campfire cooking set is lightweight and easy to stack up and carry in its bag.
Capacity: 3 people
Number of pieces: 17 or 25
What’s included (25 piece bundle):
- One half-liter stainless steel pot
- One 1 liter stainless steel pot
- One half-liter stainless steel frying pan.
- There plates
- Three sets of tableware (3 knives, 3 spoons, and 3 forks)
- Three bowls
- One carry bag
- It’s a pretty complete set since you get plates and utensils.
- Everything is stainless steel.
- When the big pots are full of water and heavy, the handles don’t instill a lot of confidence.
5. GSI Outdoors Glacier Dualist Backcountry – Great for cooking small meals
The GSI Outdoors Glacier set is a great choice for couples or individuals who want an outdoor cooking cooking kit that is small and lightweight with just the basics. Nothing fancy to see here, just the basics. You get a cooking pot, bowls, and folding sporks.
Yet, this is enough gear to cook over a campfire cooking grate. Campfire cooking is a lot of fun and lets you get creative, but some people don’t need 40 pieces of camping cooking gear to get the job done, and are easy to fit in a backpack.
Capacity: 2 people
Number of pieces: 7
- One 1.8 liter pot
- A strainer lid
- Two 20-onces mugs
- Two 20-ounces bowls
- Two Sip-It Tops
- Two folding foons
- 1 welded sink
- Small and lightweight
- Easy to carry around in a storage bag or backpack.
- There are not a lot of cooking utensils, but the point of the kit is simplicity and portability.
What to consider when looking for a campfire cooking equipment
- What items and pieces are included in the kit
- Intended Use
What items and pieces are included in the kit
Some campfire cooking kits include everything from tableware to serving plates. Be sure that the kit you choose has all the accessories you need. I included in this article all that is included in each kit, making it easy for you to make your selection.
OK people, I know that we all want to use camping flashlights as shovels, but don’t expect a cheap set of cast iron pans to work well over an open fire. Some of these kits specify if they can be used over an open fire or not. Stainless steel cooking pots and pans do well over an open fire but those thin composite pots do not.
Most open-fire cooking equipment is easy to store. The kits I have included in this list are built so you can easily stack them up and store them. Look for campfire kits that can be stacked up and stored; they’ll make things easier.
Quality is important. When looking for a good cooking kit, pay attention to the material used to build the pots, handles, and tableware. Stainless steel kits will last a long time and work well over an open flame.
Cast iron does well, but it does need to be kept “seasoned” or oiled or it will rust. I have a cast-iron pan that has been with me for years. I use it over an open flame to sear steaks. Cast iron cookware is durable but can be heavy. Again, if you take the time to take care of cast iron pans and cast iron cookware, they will last.
Also, pay attention to the specs of some of these kits. There is some camping equipment that cannot be used on direct fire.
These are my recommended essentials in a campfire cooking kit
We can all agree that campfires are a fun part of our outdoor trips. It’s one of the most memorable aspects of camping. These are my humble suggestions on what essential items your next camping cooking set should include.
While some foods can be thrown on a hot grate over hot coals or a campfire grill, other foods cannot. A frying pan can be used for toasting bread, cooking meats, and side dishes.
I use my frying pan to cook eggs, pancakes, and, of course, bacon. A frying pan is very useful and enables you to cook a wider range of dishes and recipes.
I have used cooking pots for boiling water, cooking vegetables, and preparing big stews. Cooking pots are versatile and can even double as sink to clean dirty dishes.
A cooking pot is a handy cooking tool. I have my share of issues at the campsite and have been able to heat water using a pot for quick showers. Yes, I’ve been there.
Cooking instruments and utensils
Kits that include serving spoons, spatulas, and cutting boards are always praised and favored. Accessories like forks are very useful. Cooking tools such as tongs and cooking boards are also nice to have.
Cutlery, plates, and bowls
Plates and bowls are very useful and, well, you need to put your food somewhere. Surely, you can purchase plates and bowls separately, but when they are included, it is quite nice. In some kits, when the bowls and plates are included, they fit inside the bigger pots for easy storage.
The Storage and Carrying Bag
Most camping cookware is made so that it can be stacked neatly and put in a bag. This is a huge convenience, and I recommend getting a campfire cooking set with a storage bag.
TIP: Other Must-have items and Gear
The camping kits on this list comprise fantastic items to help you enjoy the great outdoors on your next camping trip. The following is a list of items that I always bring on trips and have learned to always bring after years of traveling.
A portable camp stove
These portable stoves can be used for so many things, including cooking, of course. I always pack one, even if I end up not needing it.
It is much simpler to use a firestarter, lighter, or even fire-starting blocks, particularly if the wood and timber around you are wet.
Firestarters I use include:
- Propane torch
- Electric lighters
Not only are grilling lights useful for cooking safely at night, but they can also be used around the campsite. These lights are more durable than household LED lights and small flashlights.
A pair of grilling lights is sufficient to illuminate your cooking area and allow you to see what you’re doing.
You will be moving pots around, handling tools, and dealing with fire. It is a good idea to add a good pair of grilling gloves to your cooking equipment list and pack more than a pair on your next camping trip.
Campfire Grill Grate
I’m a bit old-school and I just use an old grill grate, but campfire grill grates are easier to set up. Most have foldable legs and do not need blocks or rocks to support them off the ground. These grates help support multiple cooking pots, deep dish plates, and even a coffee pot.
Aluminum pans are great for meal prepping and even serving food, but what makes them useful is their versatility and ease of cleaning.
I go to places like Ikea and online and get 79-cent rags or packs of cheap racks and throw them in a bag. Cleaning rags are a best friend around the campsite, and one can never have enough.
Biodegradable Dish Soap
You will need dish soap regardless, but the soap should be biodegradable. We all want to keep enjoying the outdoors, and we all want to keep the environment safe. Using biodegradable or environmentally friendly soap is a great way to protect the environment.
I live in Florida, and let me tell you, mosquitoes are a pain here. When I go on a camping trip, I pack some mosquito repellent spray and a few mosquito repellent candles.
Small Water Containers
Sometimes I am lucky and my camping site is near a potable water source, but sometimes I am not. I like to bring water containers with me and fill them up with water if I am far from a water source.
Cooking or grilling mats
You might have a grilling cooking mats allow you to grab any old grate and turn it into a clean cooking surface.
One Last Word
When looking for a campfire or open-fire cooking set, consider who you intend to use the cooking kit for. Some of you want a kit with as many pieces as possible, while others only want the essentials.
As far as the best campfire cooking kit, we pick the Stanley Base Camp kit as it is of good quality and has all the accessories you need to cook a good meal on the next camping adventure.